I want my audio players to work in GNOME.
This is a re-written version of this post, after some research :). It seems really, really NEARLY all the bits are there. HAL can recognise music players, and it can specify what directory song files should go into, and what format they should be in. Banshee recognises music players and respects the song file directory setting. The only thing it doesn't do is transcode to an appropriate format, so if I drag and drop a song from my library that happens to be a Vorbis file to my phone, it just copies the .ogg file to the correct directory on the phone, even though the HAL entry I wrote for the phone specifies it can only support MP3 and WAV.
Rhythmbox doesn't seem to have write support for mass audio devices (in 0.9.5, I didn't get around to trying 0.9.6 yet), but I'm sure it can't be far behind.
Banshee respecting the supported file types exported by HAL is all we need for this to rock: come on guys! Then they can start writing support for players that use databases (besides the Ipod and the Creative players, which are already supported), but we're very close to having working mass storage player support.
I submitted a patch for HAL which adds support for the Motorola V360 and specifies the correct audio directories for the V360 and also for the Playstation Portable and Sony Ericsson W800i. When I (hopefully) get a W810i soon, I'll be submitting a patch for that too. It's quite easy to make a patch for /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-usb-music-players.fdi to add support for any mass storage device that can play audio - this guide mostly covers it, the only thing that needs to be added is a line like this:
It goes under the keys that specify the supported file formats, and it tells the system where audio files should go on the device. That's the line for my V360 phone, it tells the system to put audio files in the /mobile/audio directory on the device. Modify as appropriate for your device. If you have some kind of USB storage device that can play audio - a phone, a music player, whatever - and isn't currently recognised as an audio player by GNOME, write a patch! It's pretty easy and very easy to test (just restart HAL, plug the device in, and make sure it pops up on the desktop with the audio player icon instead of the generic external drive icon. To test the audio path setting, drag a song to the phone in Banshee, and see whether it goes to the right place.) Submit it to the HAL Bugzilla and help make things work a little better for everyone :) Now if Banshee will just learn to transcode, things will rock indeed.